There have been many advances in the treatment for pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) over the years with the survival rates increasing from 31% in the 1970s to 90% in the 2000s. Unfortunately, some patients will have disease that is refractory to therapy and 10-15% of patients will experience a relapse. The cure rate for these patients has not changed over the years. These patients often have disease that is resistant to standard approaches to treatment. Newer, novel therapies are needed for this population of patients and chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy (CAR T) is one of those therapies. A patient’s own T cells are collected and then reprogrammed in the lab to target and eliminate the B cell leukemia. Since this therapy is becoming more widely known and used, it is important that all healthcare providers have knowledge of this therapy in order to support the patient and family through the experience.
- The learner will identify what disease is treated with CAR T cell therapy and why this therapy is necessary.
- The learner will identify a basic understanding of CAR T cells.
- The learner will understand concepts of the patient and family experience during CAR T cell therapy.
Learning Need Codes: 5150, 5420
Performance Indicators : 8.3.1, 8.3.5, 8.3.7
CPE Level: 2
CEU: 1 hr pending approval
Speaker: Colleen Callahan
Colleen is a nurse practitioner on the Cancer Immunotherapy Team in the Oncology Division at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. I have worked in pediatric oncology for 24 years and have been a nurse practitioner in the Division of Oncology for almost 20 years. I began my role as nurse practitioner on the Cancer Immunotherapy Program 6 ½ years ago caring for patients pre, during, and post CAR T cell therapy in the outpatient setting. I follow these patients from their initial referral to the Cancer Immunotherapy Team, through their T cell collection, T cell infusion, and then after infusion monitoring for side effects, adverse events, and long term effects and responses. Important aspects of my role included providing anticipatory guidance, teaching and educating patients and families, and providing consistency and continuity of care.